Community pharmacies are increasingly taking on broader roles in delivering healthcare, with several launching health apps for their customers in recent years. We recently looked at the Walgreens app and came away impressed. Here, we’ll take a look at the CVS app and see how it measures up.
The CVS app offers basic pharmacy services such as refilling and transferring prescriptions, prescription reminders and a store locator. Additional features include photo printing, online shopping, and reviewing weekly sales ads.
Basic features of the CVS app are readily available to all users. Most of the pharmacy services such as refills and pill reminders, require the creation of a free account. Setting up an account requires the user to enter their name, address, gender, and birthdate which seems like a lot more info than could be needed for use. Users can scan their driver’s license to input information which is nice but feels a little invasive as it’s not clear exactly what additional data might be collected here.
Patients who wish to use the CVS app for prescriptions can order refills by scanning their pill bottle or choosing a medication from their list. Users must re-enter their name, address, phone number, and birthdate to setup Rx Management. This must match information given when the patient set-up their prescriptions in the retail store. Touch ID can be enabled on the iPhone for further account security.
Caregivers can manage prescriptions for other family members who are also current CVS patients. Pill reminders can be setup as well for the user’s personal prescriptions or for those of a family member. The user can choose a ringtone to personalize the reminder alert.
One unique feature in the CVS app is the ability to hold appointments at a local MinuteClinic, the CVS version of urgent care found in many of the pharmacies. Users can find clinics in their area, get directions, check wait times, and in some places, are able to hold a place in line, though this feature is not available for all CVS clinics. A list of services at the clinics is also provided in the app.There doesn’t appear to be any connection to a live provider
Additional medical features include a pill identifier and drug interaction checker. These are very basic and may be useful for patients, but healthcare providers will likely need something more robust. The interaction checker allows users to scan a barcode from an OTC label and check interactions with their meds currently filled at CVS. Unfortunately, it seems to be missing some common OTC meds in the scanner even though they’re listed in the app database. For example, Systane eye drops did not come up in the scanner but was located when searching the drug in the database.
The pill identifier is similar to most others, offering basic search criteria such as color, shape, and markings on the pill.
One unique feature is an insurance FAQ that assists patients in understanding ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid. Patients can enter a zip code to search for a local plan, but only those that contract with CVS are listed.
Like Walgreens, the CVS app offers photo printing for users. Photos may be printed from phone memory or from Facebook, but fewer options are available than in the Walgreens app. Users may also print from their phone when inside a CVS store by connecting to the photo kiosk through WiFi.
As with many retail store apps, CVS gives users the ability to manage their rewards account, review weekly ads, and shop online. There were some issues with the interface that made it difficult to look at some specific products, but overall, these features are very similar to other apps.
- Scanning existing prescriptions for refills
- Refill reminders via text or alert notification
- Photo printing via phone
- User interface issues in retail shopping
- Several different sections of entering personal information
- Scanner feature for OTCs needs update to match database
Overall, basic features are fine. The app is best suited for use by CVS customers or those whose insurance will require them to use CVS for pharmacy services. No real wow factors to recommend.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Some issues with product images in the shopping section. Ok navigation but takes a number of touches to get to various features.
- Multimedia Usage
Directions provided to CVS pharmacies or MinuteClinic locations.
- Real World Applicability
Great for CVS current or future customers.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6s and iPad Air 2
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad